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  • Using Windows 10 Backup Option

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      • #2324776
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        Using the Basic Windows 10 Backup Option

        There have been many questions concerning how to effectively backup your computer system. Here is a basic method for backing up your computer system using Windows backup. The article will cover only the Windows backup: slow, reliable, generic across operating systems and versions, and fuddy-duddy. No bling bits here. It will be basic, but it will also get you there.

        Getting Started

        You will need several hardware devices prior to starting backups:

        • At least two, probably three external hard drives for data files and folders and system images, These should be 1TB or greater storage capacity.

        • Several flash drives for bootable recovery disks. When your system won’t boot, these will boot. Flash drives are fragile. Test early and often to see if they will boot. If a flash drive won’t boot, create another bootable flash drive. The key word here is bootable.

        • If you have a CD/DVD drive, several CD/DVD disks for bootable recovery disks. CD disks are more robust than flash drives, but if you build them, test them periodically to see that they will boot.

        The reason you want several external hard drives is to rotate them. If a backup goes bad, you have extra backups with a system image and your user files:

        Day 1 External hard drive 1
        Day 2 External hard drive 2
        Day 3 External hard drive 3
        Day 4 External hard drive 1
        Day 5 External hard drive 2

        With Windows backup, each external hard drive can contain:

        • latest system image of each of your computers (stored by computer name) and dated when the system image was created. The system image for the corresponding computer is overwritten each time a backup is made. If you wish to keep the older system image, copy it elsewhere before creating a new system image.

        • multiple user file backups generated each time a backup was made. File backups are all kept by date each time a backup is made.

        If you decide to keep different computers backed up on each external backup hard drive, make sure you know the name of each computer. I keep my backups separated and assigned to a specific computer.

        Backing Up Your Computer

        Perform the following steps to create a Windows 10 backup of your system

        In the search box in the lower-left-hand corner, type: backup.
        Select: Backup settings.
        Select: Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
        bu101
        Figure 1. Backup option

        If you want a system image only, you may create one using the option in the upper left-land corner. However, another option is to create backup of user files and folders and a system image. The user files and folders are kept in dated zip files. The system image is retained with your computer name and date.

        To save both user files and a system image, select: Change settings.
        bu102
        Figure 2. Select change settings

        Select the drive and let Windows choose what to backup.
        Notice that both user files will be backed up and a system image will be created.
        Select: Save settings and run backup.

        bu105
        Figure 3. Backup files and folders and create system image

        The backup will first create the backup user files followed by the system image. There is a green progress bar and there are blinking drive lights. A system image may take a long time and may appear to hang at 97%, but if the system seems to be working leave it alone.

        bu107
        Figure 4. Creating system image in progress

        You can view your information when you’re finished. To view data file backups (user files), select: View backups.
        bu108
        Figure 5. View results

        bu109
        Figure 6. View data file backups

        Creating Bootable Rescue Disks

        Bootable rescue disks permit booting when your system disk has been damaged. In my computers, I’ve configured the booting sequence to check for flash drives and CD/DVD  first such that my system automatically boots to these if there is a disk or flash device in the drive. If the drives are empty, the system boots to the default hard drive. Your backups are not bootable; your rescue disks are bootable and come in two flavors: system repair disc (CD/DVD) and recovery drive (flash drive).

        For 32-bit machines, you need a 32-bit rescue disk. For 64-bit machines, you need a 64-bit rescue disk. They don’t mix.

        System Repair Disc

        From Figure 2, Select: Create a system repair disc.

        bu110
        Figure 7. Create bootable rescue disk using CD/DVD drive

        Recovery Drive

        In the search box in the lower-left-hand corner, type: recovery drive.

        I’ve found building these flash drives is slow, so be patient.

        bu112
        Figure 8. Select your flash drive

        Test Bootable Rescue Disk

        After building your bootable rescue disks, test them. There are two parts to the test:

        1. Configure your system so it boots to the device. This process takes a bit of finagle to reboot and locate the “right” key to enter the BIOS, and set the boot priority. The correct key for me on this machine is “Del”; your key may be different depending on your system configuration.

        2. Make sure your bootable rescue disk actually boots. If it doesn’t boot, build another bootable rescue disk.

        Recovery

        Recovery may consist of restoring system image or it may involve restoring user files.

        System Image

        If your system is able to boot, in the search box in the lower-left-hand corner, type: recovery options.

        Under Advanced startup, select: Restart now.

        bu116
        Figure 9. Recovery using system image

        Select: Troubleshoot.

        bu117
        Figure 10. Select an option

        Select: Advanced Options.

        bu118
        Figure 11. Advanced Options

        You should see System Image Recovery. If not, select More Recovery Options.
        Select the option to restore from system image.

        bu119
        Figure 12. Restore system image

        If you have multiple computers in your WindowsImageBackup, make sure you select the correct computer name for restoring your computer.

        If your system is unable to boot, insert the bootable rescue disk, and boot from the rescue disk.
        Select: Keyboard.
        Select: User and password.
        Select: Troubleshoot.
        Select the option to restore from system image.

        User Files

        If you need to recover user files, in the search box in the lower-left-hand corner, type: backup.
        Select: Backup settings.
        Select: Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

        Select: Restore my files or Restore my folders.
        bu114
        Figure 13. Restore files and folders only

        Practice making backups and bootable rescue disks. Practice booting from a bootable rescue disk and restoring a system image. Practice restoring a user file or folder. Computer emergencies rarely happen conveniently and it’s best to be prepared.

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        • This topic was modified 2 months ago by geekdom.
        • This topic was modified 2 months ago by geekdom.
        • This topic was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by PKCano.
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      • #2324870
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        maybe make a note of what this can backup and what it can’t i.e. another data drive from what i can see. and how to control what can be adjusted.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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        • #2324938
          geekdom
          AskWoody Plus

          There’s plenty of discussion elsewhere on the terms I’ve used and what backing up entails:

          Image: The imaging software makes a copy of everything on your computer (boot sector, partitions, OS, programs, data, everything), and puts it in a single compressed file. When you restore this image, it expands the contents into the same condition as the day the image was made. The image takes up less space than the original system, because it is compressed.

          Clone: An exact copy of the system as it is, bit by bit to a different location/drive. It is the same size as the original, there is no compression.

          Recovery media (DVD or bootable USB): Bootable media from which contains a copy of the backup software and allows you to access an image in order to restore it to your computer.

           

          What I’ve provided is a step-by-step overview on how Windows backup works including making a system image and saving user files.

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          • This reply was modified 2 months ago by geekdom.
          • This reply was modified 2 months ago by geekdom.
          • This reply was modified 2 months ago by geekdom.
          • #2324969
            geekdom
            AskWoody Plus

            A backup is restored from your external hard drive to your working hard drive. The system image is a special snapshot copy of your system, that when restore is used, replaces what’s on the working hard drive with what’s on the backup external drive for the image by date you selected to restore.

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      • #2327192
        WCHS
        AskWoody Plus

        Figure 2. Select change settings

        Select the drive and let Windows choose what to backup.

        does “the drive” mean the drive that will contain the backup? or does it mean the drive you want to backup?

        • #2327270
          Kirsty
          Manager

          When you use the Win7 System Image option, the Win10 settings don’t differ from the Win7 settings.

          When you set up the image to be taken, it will give you a list of disks (drives) you can choose to include (for instance, if you have your software on Drive C: and your data on Drive E:), although it will usually include recovery disks that can’t be removed. Once you have selected the disk/drive to back up, it literally takes an image of the whole disk. There is no option at that point to exclude any contents.

          Does that explain what you were asking about?

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          • #2327310
            WCHS
            AskWoody Plus

            I understand your explanation, but I am not sure if it explains what I was asking about.

            Let me start over.  In Figure 1, you click on the blue link that says “Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).”.  In Figure 2, you click on the blue link that says “Change settings,” if you want to save both user files and a system image.

            Then, below Figure 2, the instructions say “Select the drive and let Windows choose what to backup”.   So, is the drive you select “TOSHIBA EXT (E:)”, i.e., the external hard drive which will be accepting the backups?  or is the drive you select C:\, i.e., the drive to be backed up?   I don’t see the  place where the program knows to put the backups, i.e., where it got “TOSHIBA EXT (E:)” to put in the field that says “Location” in Figure 3, unless “the drive” means the external hard drive.  But when I read “Select the drive and let Windows choose what to backup”, it seems like it is saying “Select the drive from which to find whatever is to be backed up and let Windows choose what to back up from that drive”.  And it is not saying “Select the drive to which the backups are to be put and let Windows choose what to back up from the drive to be backed up”.   Or is it saying the latter?

            • #2327383
              Bob99
              AskWoody Plus

              Select the drive and let Windows choose what to backup.

              This simply means to select the drive you want to back up, or the drive you want the backed up data to be from.

              I hope this helps.

              • #2327393
                WCHS
                AskWoody Plus

                OK.  Got that.

                So, how does it know where to put the image and the backed up files?

                I don’t see anything in the instructions for designating the external hard drive (“TOSHIBA EXT (E:)” in the example), which is where the image and the backed up files will be put.

              • #2327462
                Kirsty
                Manager

                A search for a suitable drive (with enough spare space) happens prior to selecting what to back up. You can select from a variety of drives Windows finds.

                Where-to-save-backup

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              • #2327431
                Bob99
                AskWoody Plus

                After further consideration and in looking at the images and instructions provided herein, I believe I was completely incorrect in my statement above.  😳

                Select the drive and let Windows choose what to backup.

                I now believe this means to select the drive that you want to backup the data and files to, and that Windows will select the data and files from the currently active drive that it is running from, usually a computer’s C: drive.

                Sorry for any misunderstanding or confusion I may have created with my prior post.  😞

            • #2327460
              geekdom
              AskWoody Plus

              Select the drive and let Windows choose what to backup.

              Select the drive you are going to backup to and let Windows choose what to backup.

              You may choose what you wish to backup from user files.

              If you read further, you will see that the system image is of drive C:

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              • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by geekdom.
              • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by geekdom.
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              • #2327465
                Kirsty
                Manager

                let Windows choose what to backup.

                Ah, doesn’t Windows just take an image copy of the whole location?

              • #2327476
                geekdom
                AskWoody Plus

                The backup has two separate steps:

                1. Backup user files as zipped files.
                2. Create system image of the entire disk that is being backed up.

                When you select what user files you want Windows to back up, you are doing the first step.

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                • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by geekdom.
      • #2327500
        WCHS
        AskWoody Plus

        @Geekdom     You can see the confusion here with that sentence in #2324776 that says “Select the drive and let Windows choose what to backup”   Your revision in #2327460 is better: “Select the drive you are going to backup to and let Windows choose what to backup.  You may choose what you wish to backup from user files.”  The post by @Kirsty at #2327462 helps, too.

        Any chance of asking the moderators to make this revision?

        I’m just beginning to digest the instructions.

        I like your suggestion to “practice”, “practice”, which I intend to do, once I feel that I understand the instructions.

        I hope this URL never goes away!!

      • #2327506
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        bu121
        Figure 2a. Select where to save the backup

        bu122
        Figure 2b. Select the data files to backup

        bu123
        Figure 2c. Review your selections

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        • #2336474
          WCHS
          AskWoody Plus

          Figure 2a. Select where to save the backup

          I have a question about this screenshot. At this point, do you have both the external drive and the DVD drive plugged in?

          Figure 2c. Review your selections

          I have a question about this screenshot. It looks like both the files and the system image will be placed on the external drive. Is that right?

      • #2327531
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        bu124
        Figure 2c. Review your selections

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      • #2328524
        b
        AskWoody MVP

        To save both user files and a system image, select: Change settings.

        Figure 2. Select change settings

        You only get Change settings if you’ve used backup before.

        Otherwise it’s Set up backup:

        Set-up-backup

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      • #2331622
        WCHS
        AskWoody Plus

        • latest system image of each of your computers (stored by computer name) and dated when the system image was created. The system image for the corresponding computer is overwritten each time a backup is made. If you wish to keep the older system image, copy it elsewhere before creating a new system image.

        Can there be other files and folders on the hard drive you will use for the system image and user files?

        Regarding Figure 2b and the “Let Windows choose” option:
        Is C:\Users\personalfoldername a default Windows folder? If so, does the backup include ALL of the folders and files in the personalfoldername folder? I am wondering about folders such as AppData, Downloads, Dropbox, Favorites, Links, MicrosoftEdgeBackups, Music, Pictures, OneDrive, Searches, Videos, and all of the folders that one has created in the personalfolder, i.e., all of the system generated folders (such as AppData, Downloads, …) AND all of the folders that one has alone created. If some of these folders in \personalfolder have shortcuts in This PC | Libraries are the contents of the folders duplicated in the backup (once under their hard location and again in their virtual location (i.e., in the Libraries folder)?

      • #2334022
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        Can there be other files and folders on the hard drive you will use for the system image and user files?

        Yes. I usually create interim files and folders I need to save on the same external hard drive.

        Is C:Userspersonalfoldername a default Windows folder?

        If you do select: “Let Windows choose” the backup will also store the Public profile contents in addition to user profiles.

        I don’t know precisely what has been stored under personal profile “Let Windows choose” option, nor do I know what your data entails. I do know that when I have retrieved files, the files and folders are available.

        If you want to see what specifically selected user profile data is stored, select: “Let me choose” and view files and folders you may save. (Default profile is a named profile on every system and is not a personal profile.)

        bu132

        This backup is extremely robust, enduring, and useful. To gain further understanding of its capabilities, consider implementing it. Some of your questions may be answered with application.

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        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by geekdom.
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        • #2336437
          WCHS
          AskWoody Plus

          If you do select: “Let Windows choose” the backup will also store the Public profile contents in addition to user profiles. I don’t know precisely what has been stored under personal profile “Let Windows choose” option, nor do I know what your data entails. I do know that when I have retrieved files, the files and folders are available.

          I have practiced with Windows 10 Backup, letting Windows choose the files/folders for backup.

          I learned that only the default folders under my personal folder were backed up: AppData, Contacts, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, Pictures, Saved Games, Searches, and Videos.  I have 13 other folders under my personal folder that were not backed up. These are folders that I created myself. So, it looks like I will be practicing again, this time selecting files and folders myself.

          I also had two errors because a couple of folders were not backed up.  The two folders were in Libraries and each had a pointer to a folder under my personal folder, but since those two folders under my personal folder were ones I had created and hence were not backed up,  this generated the two errors.

          To delete this incomplete backup (some folders are not backed up and two errors are in the backup),  do I do the deletion from the external hard drive?  or do I delete this backup from within Windows 10 Backup?

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by WCHS.
          • #2336572
            MikeyD215
            AskWoody Plus

            Here is what I do to ensure I have backups for extra folders I have created myself that are not sub-folders under the “default” folders: Turn on File History and then manually add your own folders to the list. File History is separate from the Windows Backup and Restore routine under discussion here, but it is available to backup any kind of folder you want in addition to the “default” folders.

            Better still it backs up any file that shows up as soon as it is saved without waiting for a formal backup to occur. For example, I have created a folder “Installation Archive,” divided into sub-folders where I store installation files, hot fixes, .reg files, .iso files, fonts, icons, documentation, etc. Clearly, I could have accomplished the same by utilizing the Downloads folder, but it is a carryover from a structure I had created originally under Win-XP and which I view as a warehouse. It doesn’t matter if it is not included in the backup under discussion here, because I can retrieve files or entire folders from File History.

      • #2334504
        WCHS
        AskWoody Plus

        I see your data backup files listed in Figure 6. Are these files in one super folder, whose filenames or subfoldernames are the different dates on which those data backup files were created? Or are they in separate super folders? If so, how are they named? Could I see a screenshot of the file organization created by Windows 10 Backup Option on your external hard drive?

        • #2334543
          geekdom
          AskWoody Plus

          On the external hard drive, there is a file folder with the backed-up computer name. This folder is where your user files are kept in zip form. Here is the structure:
          bu133

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          • #2336465
            WCHS
            AskWoody Plus

            This folder is where your user files are kept in zip form.



            @Geekdom
            :
            My external hard drive doesn’t show zip files at all. This is what I see when I click on the Computer Name in the root directory of my external drive.
            External-Drive-organization

            Then, if I click on “Restore my files from this backup,” I get this screen:
            Browse-for-folders

            And if I click on the “Browse on folders” button, I get this screen:
            Finding-the-file-or-folder

            Then, by clicking on “Backup of C:”, I will drill down to the folder (or file, depending on what I selected in the previous screen) to what I am looking for. My destination is not a zip file (or at least, it’s not presented as a zip file); I see it exactly as if it were on my laptop with the folder name and its timestamp or a file name and a pop-up that shows its time stamp and size.

            Granted, these screens all come from the functioning of Backup and Restore (Windows 7). I am not able to see any kind of display that looks like yours when I am looking on the external drive itself, i.e., no directories open up below the Computer Name.

            Is this a difference between version 2004’s and version 1909’s Backup and Restore (Windows 7? I am on version 1909 and I believe you are on 2004.

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            • #2336624
              geekdom
              AskWoody Plus

              If you wish to see the user profile backup zip files, make sure you are in the left panel when you click the computer name. If you are in the right panel. and you click on the computer name you will invoke the user profile restore option, which you have done as evidenced by your pictures (and don’t want to do).

              The usual way to restore user profile files from the backup disk is from Restore my files or folders (Figure 13). However, you asked about user profile backup storage structure, so I showed it to you.

              This backup program is the same for all versions of Windows 10 and Windows 7; the software hasn’t changed.

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              • #2340187
                WCHS
                AskWoody Plus

                OK. I see where I should look now — in the Navigation Pane. Here is what I see — now that I’ve done two backups 1) on Jan 20 and 2) on Feb 2. See attachment.

                There is one main folder Backup Set xxxx and under that are two folders — one for the 1st backup on Jan 20, which has 212 zip folders under it, and the other for 2nd backup on Feb 2, which has 34 zip folders under it.

                Even though there are two separate folders in the Navigation Pane (one for each backup date), would you take a look at #2340056
                b/c the ‘Select a backup period to delete’ screen shows only one one data file backup dated 01/20/2021 to 02/02/21 and not two separate data file backups.

                I’m thinking that the Feb 2 folder has fewer zip folders b/c it contains only data that was either not included in the Jan 20 backup or that was modified after Jan 20.

                I’d like to know how to get separate data file backups listed, each of which is a complete backup for data files on a given data. It looks that is what you have in Figure 6.

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      • #2334511
        anonymous
        Guest

        if one has windows 10, why do you advocate using the windows 7 backup program to create a backup or restore/bootable usb-drive ???

        • #2334518
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          Because the native backup in Windows 10 works under the assumption that you don’t want your ENTIRE computer backed up, rather that you will restore the OS from the cloud and everything else is under your my docs structure or backed up in one drive.

          What Happened to the Windows 7 Backup in Windows 10? (dummies.com)

          If you are a fuddy duddy, like me, you prefer the full image backup style of Windows 7.

           

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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          • #2334548
            doriel
            AskWoody Lounger

            Will this “old-fashion” backup work, if old control panel will be dismissed? Its usefull tool, I would preserve it.

            Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

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      • #2335468
        BBofLV
        AskWoody Lounger

        Since this topic is a backup “option,” I’d like to put my 2¢ worth in….Windows backup scenario is always “going through hoops” to make a back up.  What has always worked for me, over the years is True Image backup.  I’ve used the same burned disk as a boot up to T.I. interface.  It’s just a couple of steps to make a copy/mirror image or just plain backup of a disk, system drive or any other drive’s files.

        • #2335572
          geekdom
          AskWoody Plus

          The title of this thread and the opening paragraph clearly delimit the topic to the Windows Backup option installed on your system with the Windows operating system. Select your own favorite backup program (while denigrating the Windows 10 Backup option), but that is not the topic here.

          On Hiatus {with backup and coffee}
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          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by geekdom.
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by geekdom.
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          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2335788
        MikeyD215
        AskWoody Plus

        My system was set up to create an image and file backup to an external drive every Sunday night. However, just this past Sunday after it ran I got an error message that the image creation had failed. I tried to run it manually and it failed again. Even though it appeared that the drive was less than half full I deleted several older file backup sets and tried again. The image failed again. Now in the past week I did install EaseUs ToDo backup, as a backup alternative, but I had not used it yet (though it is running upon startup.)

        Could it be interfering with the WIN-10 Backup image creation?

        Does anyone have any suggestions?

        • #2335790
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Testing could be uninstall EaseUs backup SW and test, if it works again.
          I suppose there is some error? Posting screenshot/description would be usefull too.

          There can be several reasons, why your image fails. Have you tried to check your files? With CHKDSK pherhaps? Maybe your files are corrupted, I would CHKDSK external drive too.
          Or some service blocks your backup, maybe with the EaseUs tool, something sneaked in your PC unseen.
          Please try to provide few more details so we can try to figure out, whats going on.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      • #2335812
        MikeyD215
        AskWoody Plus

        I disabled EaseUS on startup, rebooted and tried to use WIN 10 backup to create an image again. It worked!

        So either it was the disablement or the reboot or both. Or a cranky backup effort previously? But all set now. Let’s see what happens next Sunday night when the next automatically scheduled backup runs. Incidentally, I also use file history on same external drive, along with WIN-10 file backup. OS and programs all on SSD C:\ drive, all data files on HDD D:\ drive. Am planning to use a second external drive henceforth, as well, which is why I added EaseUS backup.

        Thanks for your advice. I figured I would give it one more try to see if I could get an error message that would provide more information.

      • #2336011
        Drcard:))
        AskWoody Lounger

        Just a little warning about restoring an image backed up using Windows 7/10 image backup.

        It restores exactly as it was, which included drive size.  If such an image is restored to a larger HDD, Disk manager will only show the size of the old HDD.  You will need to use the Extend Volume wizard in Disk management to have Windows recognize the new space.

        Drcard:))

      • #2336066
        anonymous
        Guest
        1.  Any thoughts about advantages of using a program like Macrium Reflect for imaging C and or D drives on windows 10 computer.
        2. Microsoft should really really change the name from “ Backup and Restore Windows 7” To —>Backup and Restore Windows 10 similar to Backup and Restore Windows 7<- since the current name sounds like you are trying to make it compatible for a Windows 7 computer… or that it is a legacy tool that shouldn’t be used for a windows 10 computer…i know many non-tech users that found this confusing enough to just go to a 3rd party app such as Macrium which may be overkill for their need.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2336093
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          This is a thread about the Windows backup program, not 3rd party apps.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2336108
        Moonshine
        AskWoody Lounger

        Maybe worth mentioning what Microsoft announced some time ago:

        Windows 10 features we’re no longer developing

        “. . . . . The features described below are no longer being actively developed, and might be removed in a future update.”

        System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
        “We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.”

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/planning/windows-10-deprecated-features

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2336439
          WCHS
          AskWoody Plus

          Maybe worth mentioning what Microsoft announced some time ago:

          Is System Image Backup (SIB) the same thing as Backup and Restore (Windows 7)?

          I see that anticipated deprecation of SIB was announced in version 1709. But, Backup and Restore (Windows 7) is still here in Version 1909.

          I’ve just started practicing with Backup and Restore (Windows 7). After running it, I see that I can click on the Properties of a file/folder to retrieve a previous version, just like I could in Windows 7. This is an added advantage of using this backup option.

          • #2336451
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            Stop using the “not very good” Windows backup and get one of the free 3rd party backup apps. They work, you can select whatever folders you want and you can schedule them. You can even pay for them if you like.

            cheers, Paul

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2336478
              WCHS
              AskWoody Plus

              Stop using the “not very good” Windows backup and get one of the free 3rd party backup apps.

              Easier said than done!! I’ve tried one (to wit, at your recommendation) and as a result I emptied out all of my OEM partitions except the boot partition and the one for C:\ (on both of my laptops)!! The instructions for using it were confusing. I have to ask questions even here, with this simple one. Macrium Reflect is really difficult to understand, at least for me.

              Maybe, once I get the gist of how Window’s Backup and Restore (Windows 7) works for both file backup and a rescue disc, I will be in a better position to try a 3rd party backup app. But, for the time being and probably until or unless it goes away, I will be using this one. Besides being easier to understand and use because there are no bells and whistles, it also has the advantage of allowing me to use the “Previous Versions” tab in Properties (right-click on the file or folder).

              To each his own.

              • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by WCHS.
              • #2336573
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                I agree, MR is difficult and I don’t recommend it for non tech users.
                Aomei, EaseUs & Paragon are much easier.

                I still think you would be better off using one of these products.

                cheers, Paul

              • #2340377
                PDX5802
                AskWoody Plus

                I definitely fall into the non tech user category. And dread the day WU leaves me with a useless PC. When I first saw the UI of Macrium I admit it looked a bit too complicated for me to use. However, after spending an hour or two watching YouTube tutorials going step by step on how to use it I pretty well understood the basics. I downloaded MR Free, made the rescue usb and then created my first full image onto an external ssd and ran the verification. I didn’t bother with any of the scheduling, will do a manual every month before updates.  I then practice booted my MR rescue usb from the bios just to verify MR came up off the external ssd and the image was there to go.

                Quite frankly I now trust MR more than the in house Windows image backup. I have no doubt that at some point in the future WU will  disable my OS enough to where I will need MR as a last resort to get my system back. Knowing I have it ready to go takes off some of the “update anxiety” every month.

                 

                 

                1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2336609
        Moonshine
        AskWoody Lounger

        Have a look at this web page – it may be useful to some:

        How to Create a Backup Image Using Macrium Reflect Free

        https://askleo.com/create-backup-image-using-macrium-reflect-free/

        It is a few years old now and includes a video and transcript of what is said and to do and it is presented by the well-respected Leo A. Notenboom.

        It shows how to create a basic Image by using the Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows option. This automatically selects the disk we boot from as well as the C: drive on that disk.
        Note how many actually clicks of the mouse is used to create this type of image.
        This option, perhaps, is the one many average users should opt for.
        It’s the one I use as all the other data on all the other discs/partitions are copied/pasted/backed up elsewhere separately.

        The video also shows the resulting Image and how to access its contents. The contents can be copied-pasted elsewhere should the user want to do that for a variety of different reasons.
        There are other options a user can opt for like verifying a taken Image but this will increase significantly the time scale of the process.

        There are many additional options to select should a user want to have in place. An understanding of what they do would be advantageous, but the above is a basic System Image which can be very useful to have.

      • #2336626
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        Prior to undertaking any backup software package including Windows backup option, make sure that you have a basic understanding of Windows operations, system structure (files, folders, hidden), system tray, and mouse/keyboard functions.

        Windows backup option can includes:

        • user profile files and folders
        • system image
        • rescue disk
        On Hiatus {with backup and coffee}
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        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by geekdom.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by geekdom.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by geekdom.
        • #2340311
          WCHS
          AskWoody Plus

          Prior to undertaking any backup software package including Windows backup option, make sure that you have a basic understanding of Windows operations, system structure (files, folders, hidden), system tray, and mouse/keyboard functions.



          @Geekdom
          I know I’ve asked a lot of questions here and I appreciate your answers (and the time you took to create this topic). I think I do have the basic understanding you describe here. As you suggested, I am practicing so that I understand more. I hope you will answer a few more questions as I progress.

          In my 1st backup on Jan 20, in which I let Windows choose what to back up, it took about an hour to back up the files and do a system image. There were 212 zip folders produced. It stayed at 97% for a very long time. On the 2nd backup on Feb 2, in which I chose the folders to backup, it took about 1 hr 30 min. There were 34 zip folders produced. It stayed at 97% for a much longer time than the 1st time. How long does it take you to do YOUR backups? (Wondering if 1 hr to 1.5 hrs is normal)

          You will find about the same backup storage options, a learning curve for the backup program, and a learning curve for basic understanding of the Windows operating system.

          Could you look at #2340187 and #2340056 to improve my learning curve?

          After I figure out how to get a screen that shows several separate backups, I think I’m ready to move on to the Rescue Disk stage. Would you be willing to answer questions about that stage, if I have them?

          Speaking of learning curves, I have already learned one thing in particular about choosing what to backup using this backup option, namely that you can’t back up a Library that contains custom folders that are located under your user profile. See my topic What could be causing error 0x80070002?.

      • #2336635
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        Regardless of backup program you choose, you will find about the same backup storage options, a learning curve for the backup program, and a learning curve for basic understanding of the Windows operating system.

        On Hiatus {with backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender TRV=1909 WuMgr
        offline▸ Win10Pro 20H2.19042.685 x86 Atom N270 RAM2GB HDD WindowsDefender WuMgr GuineaPigVariant
        online▸ Win10Pro 20H2.19042.804 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox86.0 WindowsDefender TRV=20H2 WuMgr
      • #2340056
        WCHS
        AskWoody Plus

        About Figure 6. View data file backups:

        How do you get separate entries for each time you do a backup?

        I did one backup on January 20 (which did not turn out too well because I let Windows choose) and then I did a second one on Feb 2 (which turned out better because I did the choosing). However, I do not get two separate backups listed.

        I get one backup listed that says 01/20/2021 to 02/02/2021. It has everything that I backed up on January 20 and to that, on February 2, were added new files/folders created after 01/20/2021 or newer files that replaced older files. It’s one big backup (with the most recent modifications) and not two separate ones.

        See attachment for the “Select a backup period to delete”

        Attachments:
      • #2341540
        WCHS
        AskWoody Plus

        I have done several backups now and there is now one big backup set that has folders under it for each of the three times I did a backup. There are 212 zip folders in the 1st backup folder under the backup set for the 1st time it ran, produced 34 zip folders in the 2nd backup folder in the backup set for the 2nd time it ran, and 11 zip folders in the 3rd backup folder in the backup set for the 3rd time it ran.

        The next time I run Backup and Restore (Windows 7), I want to get a new backup folder that is a full backup, i.e., as if I had never done a backup before and was starting from scratch. I don’t want to get xxx zip folders in the 4th backup folder under the backup set for this 4th time it runs; I want to get a completely different backup folder — one that is NOT under the original backup set that would contain just the added files/folders and changes to files/folder since the last time it ran.

        The 3rd time I did it, I turned off scheduling and I thought that would produce a new backup set with a full backup in it. But, instead, even though scheduling was turned off, it simply added a 3rd folder to the original backup set with 11 zip folders in it. They were new files/folders and changed files/folders since the 2nd backup.

        So, how do I get a new, full backup, completely separate from any of the backups that I have previously done? Does it involve deleting/moving the old backup set so that the external drive has no backups on it at all? Or what? (I don’t see a choice to create a new backup, but maybe it’s there somewhere.)

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